The NFL has decided to go back to a tradition of honoring its anthem players on Sundays, with the league announcing that it will host a game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Sept. 24.
The decision comes as NFL players have continued to kneel during the anthem and the NFLPA, which has made a public stand against the protests, said it will be filing a lawsuit in the coming days.
The NFL said Sunday it will honor the players and their families with a game on Sept. 25.
The league also released a statement saying that the league would “follow the legal precedent of allowing players to address the flag as a symbol of our national unity and respect for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other identity.”
The NFL and the union have been feuding since the start of the season.
In September, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had a “zero tolerance” policy for disrespecting the flag during the national anthem.
But on Friday, the union announced that it would be filing an antitrust lawsuit against the league for allowing players, coaches and owners to participate in the anthem during the season and to kneels during the games.
“This is a matter of public concern,” the union said in a statement.
The decision to play Sunday comes after Goodell told reporters that he was not “happy” with how the league has handled the protests. “
This case is about what is in the best interest of our game and our players.”
The decision to play Sunday comes after Goodell told reporters that he was not “happy” with how the league has handled the protests.
Goodell was speaking after the league suspended New York Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas for three games and suspended Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin for one game over the protests and anthem.
The anthem protests were sparked by a November 2016 video that appeared to show then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the play of the anthem.
The protests led to nationwide protests and resulted in a wave of player suspensions and fines.
“The NFL has a long and proud history of standing for the flag and the anthem, but now we are seeing the league take a clear stand for respect for our country,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in the statement.
“As an American, it is not acceptable for any team or individual to disrespect the flag or the anthem or to disrespect our soldiers, our flag, our anthem, our country or our flag-waving fans.”
“We are all going to stand together,” he said.
The National Football League is the oldest professional sports league in the United States.
It is based in New York, and its teams play in stadiums in New England, Washington and Baltimore.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.